Chicago Rally Ends in Heartache, Fall in 10
By Jack Ankony, Chicago Dogs
It looked like Ryan Haug’s RBI single and first hit of the season would be the game-winner.
Haug’s frozen-rope base hit up the middle scored Harrison Smith to give the Dogs a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th inning. But after the Winnipeg Goldeyes loaded the bases in the ninth, all it took was a ball in play to extend the game.
Juan Echevarria forced a Logan Hill ground ball for the second out of the inning, but it came at the cost of allowing Winnipeg’s fourth run. In the 10th inning, Winnipeg’s Kevin Lachance advanced to second base on an errant pick-off attempt.
Harrison Smith couldn’t handle the ground ball hit his way, and Lachance came around to score the game-winning run on walk-off error. Winnipeg escaped with a 5-4 victory in their first matchup of the season with the Dogs.
It was a change of scenery for both teams tonight, as Winnipeg will be playing all home games in Jackson, Tennessee due to Canada’s COVID-19 border restrictions. While the way the Dogs lost might leave a bad taste in Dogs manager Butch Hobson’s mouth, the fact that the game went to extra innings seemed unlikely for the majority of the game.
The Dogs’ bats were quiet for the first eight innings of the game, mustering only one run that came on a Haug double-play with the bases loaded. The Dogs struck out 11 times tonight and stranded seven baserunners.
His performance will be overlooked by the late-inning craziness, but it was a promising first start of the season for Dogs pitcher Jordan Kipper. Entering the season, Kipper was more known for his ability to induce ground balls, but tonight he was fanning Winnipeg batters left and right.
Kipper finished the night with nine strikeouts over 5.1 innings, and was cruising until two walks in the sixth forced Hobson’s hand. Kipper allowed three hits, three earned runs, and three walks tonight, but showed flashes of a wipeout slider and a fastball with noticeable zip.
After coming back in the eighth inning versus Kane County on Thursday, the Dogs’ ninth-inning rally brought on similar vibes only to be spoiled in extra innings. With this loss, the Dogs move to 2-2, but their late-game resilience promotes promise moving forward.
On the docket tomorrow is game two of a three-game set with Winnipeg beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. On the mound for the Dogs will be Garrett Christman, who has yet to pitch in 2021.